Thursday, September 28, 2006


Frances stayed over last night. I picked her up from aftercare, then took her to soccer practice, then we went to the diner for dinner, then home. She did her homework, read some, and we watched about 1/2 hour of "Thomasina," then she fell asleep. I took her to school this morning, after getting a bit lost from the MapQuest directions. She awakened during the night saying she had a bad dream, and I remember saying something about, "Just think of pretty things, the beach, and Bindi," or some such and that must have worked cause I didn't hear another peep out of her till 7:30 this morning.

Busy at the Yale office. Will be working on a submission for the, "Not Your Ordinary Poster Session," sponsored by the Women Faculty Forum. My theme will be my 2001 action against Urban Outfitters for selling their sexist t-shirt. Several of us have mice in our offices so I got "Mice Cubes," humane small plastic mouse traps I found online. No trappees yet.

Yesterday I saw the dietition. I said I had been doing way too much sugar since the past two weeks have been so stressful; she has convinced me to try a bunch of different supplements as she feels my body is "inflamed," in several different ways. I will try these supplements but I told her she has to not give me too many, as I am already taking several prescription drugs, and I don't want to do that much more pill popping.

On Wednesday, I got DillBoy's ashes back. They were beautifully packaged by the pet crematory in a small green tin with pink roses on. Enclosed was a lovely card signed by the owner of the facility, who said that Dill was "handled with care." Separately, my check was sent back with a note saying I had forgotten to sign it! Grief was my excuse. I also watched the interview Barbara Walters did with Terri Irwin, on Wednesday night. Very moving, especially when Terri thru her tears said, "I lost my prince . . . I lost my prince." She also said she had been blessed to have 14 years with Steve Irwin, and two beautiful children. She felt he was not gone, that his spirit will live on even stronger. She impressed me as much with her emotional strength as she has with her physical strength, when she had accompanied Steve on many challenging nature expeditions.

Monday I took Bindi to have her bandages changed. The vet said she was healing nicely, and hopefully the stitches and bandages can come off next week. The vet had glowing things to say about Dr. Pond, Bindi's knee surgeon.

On Sunday, J. and I went to see "Little Miss Sunshine," a film I quite enjoyed on many levels. Great acting, very funny, and some very interesting moments that were well done. We then walked thru a craft fair on the Milford green, where Bindi was a hit, everyone wanting to know what kind of dog she was and what happened to her legs. J. said, the only four words you need to remember are," Chihuahua mix, knee surgery." We then had a drink at a local cafe where we received terrible service, and the iced tea was gross. I then was off to Thai Taste for dinner with Yale colleagues/friends, and Frances, who had brought me a hand-made sympathy card about DillBoy. It was precious. She and R. had a cat, Skinny, die of the same thing.

Saturday, I saw a counseling client in the morning, then ran errands in the pm. Took Bindi to Agway to get bird food and dog food, and can't remember what else. Friday we went to Moderately Cheerful Hour, and Bindi and I got to see Jen, our favorite dog sitter.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Wraps Aren't Just Sandwiches

Here's little Bindaloo with her wrapped up legs and shaved tushie. Tommaso is holding her. He is our new friend and likes Bindi very much. She seems to be doing well, and rolled on her back in the grass this morning, but is still confused by the restrictions on her legs. But she's a good dog, and we'll get through this.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

It's Been A Hard Week

Sleep study last Saturday night, with CPAP machine. Interesting doctor there in addition to the technician, doing a research study. He had a South Asian name, but said he was born and raised in Spain. Chatted about Bindi's upcoming surgery. He was extremely surprised to hear that American's could get "pet health insurance." I said, yes, we americans are nuts about our pets.
I didn't feel like I slept at all, the CPAP mask hurt, and I woke up with a sore throat, which has now turned into a cold. The technician said I didn't do too badly. We'll see what the report has to say.

Sunday I was dragging after having left the sleep lab about 3:30 am cause I couldn't take anymore and the tech said he thought he had enough data. Did force myself to go to a concert at the Stony Creek church in the afternoon, a gospel group called Salt & Pepper which has been around for over 20 years in the area. Although I'm not a Christian, I find the music and the singing and the arrangements and lyrics of gospel very moving. I was rocking and rolling in my seat while around me almost everyone else was sitting as still and unphased as white fence posts! How could that be? I know how that be . . . New England uptightness, to cast a stereotype.

Monday, Bindi's surgery, and poor DillBoy. Tuesday morning I drove up to the UConn pathology lab to find out what killed Dill and the people there were completely nice. A British doctor, Dr. Goldie, came out to interview me, and he was gracious and gentle. The drive up there on Route 32 was lovely, although I did have a very hard time finding the lab once on the UConn campus. I arranged to have Dill's body cremated after he was done with the exam, and the little guy will be UPS'd back to me. Bindi had done well with her surgery, but I could not go visit her and they did not know when she could come home. Dr. Goldie had called me Tuesday morning, and kept referring to Dill as "Bill," which I thought was kind of endearing so I didn't correct him. Enlarged heart, cardiac arrest. No symptoms. I didn't think it was then necessary to do a tox screen, as the doc was fairly certain of his findings.

Tuesday evening I watched on television the memorial service for Steve Irwin. I had heard his daughter Bindi would be speaking if she felt up to it, and indeed she did. She had written her own eulogy, and wearing a headset and following each line of her writing with her finger read her loving words to her father: “I have the best Daddy in the whole world and I will miss him every day. I don't want Daddy's passion to ever end. I want to help endangered wildlife just like he did. My Daddy was my hero - he was always there for me when I needed him. He listened to me and taught me so many things but most of all he was fun. When I see a crocodile I will always think of him and I know that Daddy made this zoo so everyone could come and learn to love all the animals. Daddy made this place his whole life and now it's our turn to help Daddy."

Of course I cried and cried, for BindiDog, and Bindi Irwin, for DillBoy, for all the losses great and small. They all count.

Yesterday I was able to pick up Bindi from the vet hospital with three different medications and instructions for her recovery. She was tired and didn't even kiss me when I picked her up, but I was so glad to have her back. I brought her back to the office for a couple of hours so all her friends could see her and she could get showered with attention, then it was off to home. I stopped in to visit R. and R., always uplifting, and Bindi got to sniff their dogs Dilwyn and Arnold. How odd that I was without my BindiDog the day that Bindi Irwin honored her dad, and how odd that R. has a dog named Dil. Six degrees of separation? I think less . . .

A Poem for Dill

Flowers from my garden
A lighted candle a photo of
Always the same
No one mentions this office altar
Here where patriarchy tries
At every turn
To kill the soul.

Black and white
Always my favorite
Glorious contrast outside against
Color and greenery
Sensual sleeping partner
Chiquita's successor
Beautiful beautiful boy

Shock me
Eyes open mouth open
Soul gone yet
Living now inside me
Body still warm pliant
Stretched over the bedroom floor

Enlarged heart
No surprise my gentle one
Who gave joy purring silent
Big hearted

Monday, September 18, 2006


I am very sad to report that I came home this afternoon around 4:45 and found DillBoy dead on my bedroom floor. A counseling client arrived around the same time and she helped me enormously. She carried him out to the car and we drove to the vet, and they will keep him overnight. Tomorrow morning I will take him to the veterinary pathology center at UConn and have a necropsy done to find out what killed him. He had not been dead very long. I am very very sad. (His sister Camilla is behind him in this photo, taken by my friend Rob.)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Wild Turkeys

Very low energy day for me. Several things I wanted to do, could have done, but was not able to get myself out the door.

Around two pm I looked outside and saw two adult wild turkeys and two little ones scavenging to bugs and grubs and such in our yard. Fortunately, none of the cats were outside to scare them off. I looked out another window and saw another adult with two teenager birds trundling across the west lawn, meeting up with the first four. They all pecked at the ground for about 20 minutes then moved on. I was hoping one would leave me a feather, but no. Still, the visual encounter was special.

My cucumbers are producing much fruit, now that the season is ending. I planted them late, so this will give me a good excuse to eat them when they are very small and tender, which I prefer anyway.

S. called from Florida. We had a nice chat. I miss him.
J. called on his way back to Milford. Bit of a hard day for him. Maybe we'll get together tomorrow. I want to go see Salt & Pepper, the gospel group, which will be in Stony Creek tomorrow afternoon. Hope I don't forget.

Off to the dreaded sleep study in about an hour.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Snowy Owl

Yesterday morning when driving into work on Route 146, I noticed a bright white something sitting in a tree. I stopped the car and to my amazement was able to spot a glorious snowy owl on a treebranch sitting at the edge of the marsh. I had never seen a snowy owl, and this picture from the web is a very close approximation of what it looked like. What a blessing to live in the country and experience the joy of seeing such a gift of nature. I called Rob right away and told him about it and, natureboy that he is, he had never seen one.

Saw my dietition yesterday morning. She always makes me feel more hopeful about getting healthier, and helped me think more clearly about how to get more exercise. I also realize I am missing a certain kind of close connection with people, and need to figure out how to get more of that. After having been with loving family over the weekend, I was once again aware that I take better care of myself when other people who I care about are around. She gave me a recipe for a salad she would like me to eat for breakfast. It's hard enough for me to make oatmeal, let alone put together a whole salad, but perhaps on the weekend I can try.

I called the animal hospital today to talk to Debra who works there, to see if she would look in on Bindi on Monday after her knee surgery. She said of course she would. Then I asked her about Emma, her cat from the same litter as Camilla and DillBoy. She said she had to put her down. Emma had developed the same problem that Camilla has again: defecating outside the litterbox. Both these females seem to have some genetic sensitivity problem where they don't like other animals in the house with them. In fact, Camilla was ok for a while after we moved out to Guilford, but now that Bindi has matured, she has develped the problem again. I have started her once more on Xanax, to quell her stress or anxiety or whatever it is. She was fine when Bindi was a puppy and youngster, but now that Bindi is fully grown, Camilla is reacting the same way she did to Misty. Anyway, Debra got married, moved in with her husband and his two cats, and Emma went wild with the "outside of the box" activity. And her husband's two boy cats started peeing everywhere. Debra tried upping the medication dose for Emma, consulted with other vets, and debated for six months before putting her to sleep. She said she dreaded telling me, and feared I would judge her. I told her I did not, and understood that with such problems she would not even have been able to give her to a shelter or find someone to take her where she could be the only animal. Still, it is very very sad, and Debra was almost in tears telling me about it, and she appreciated me telling her that she needn't feel guilty about it.

We got a coffee maker at the office that makes one cup at a time, but only uses Green Mountain coffee which is not very good. Will have to try something else. Also, three of us have mouse "evidence" in our offices so I ordered online some very small mouse traps to catch them live, instead of having poison around that Bindi could get in to.

More rain. Uck.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I Want To Dance!

I want to dance I want to dance I want to dance!! I had such fun at Carolyn's party dancing and being silly and singing along with the songs. I miss that kind of fun, and the feeling of twirling and moving my body to the music. I think it's good for us, like the feeling I got when I was singing in the gospel choir. I think music and movement creates healthy vibrations in the body which is why all cultures have their own particular ways of singing and dancing. Wish I had my new knees and was 50 lbs lighter so that it wouldn't take such a toll on me.

It was joyous to have the little kids on the dance floor; watching Emony dance with Aiden(sp)after they had been chatting up at the table previously was too precious. Em is a natural, just bouncing and jumping to the tunes as if she were born to it. She and Aiden made a strong connection, and I think Aiden wanted to take her home with him. Oh, by the way, they're 5 and 7 years old. Ilia, in her serious way, was trying to learn the steps, and I hope that she enjoyed herself. Carolyn got some smiles out of her by twirling her about. Even Garrick got himself out on the dance floor, tho he was adamant earlier about not doing it. Way to go, dude. Shake that booty!

The trip home was chaotic since the weather was bad and all flights were delayed. I managed to get on an earlier flight to Hartford so I wouldn't have to wait in the airport for four hours, but my luggage did not make it home with me, and since I had "voluntarily separated myself from my luggage," they would not deliver it to me in Guilford without an enormous fee, so I drove up there again last night to pick it up. Ho hum. It was good to be home with the animals; all three cats have been sleeping on the bed, and Bindi has been sleeping a lot since she had a very active weekend with Gaia and Jen. I go for my sleep study with CPAP machine on Saturday night, and Bindi goes into the hospital on Sunday night for her surgery on Monday, so this weekend will be stressful.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Indian Creek, Pop. 250

Actually, the population is about double that now, since it's a small but growing managed suburb in Northwest Illinois. Tear down all the farmland and put up "Corporate Woods," an oxymoron if I ever heard one. Party for Curtis and Bonnie tomorrow at the fancy mansion museum, 50 percent chance of rain, and cool. 85 people will be showing up. The AndFam is here and they are always a delight, and the kids had fun opening all the individually wrapped freebies I got at the graduate student business fair at Yale a couple of weeks ago. Esp. the rubber brains and the blow up punching ball. My sister Carolyn is always wonderful to me and I always feel very taken care of by her, which is a blessing. Emony and Ilia and I took a walk around the man-made pond and saw two ducks and a large heron, which the girls were very impressed by. We played a game where I asked them to name two things that they could see that began with a letter from the alphabet. Ilia got a little upset when she spilled some juice all over the floor and felt embarrassed by it, but I told her it was ok and no one was mad at her. She takes things very much to heart. My other sister Judy and her daughter Erin showed up for dinner, then went back to their hotel. I went with the AndFam back to their hotel and five of the kids and Kim and I swam in the hotel pool for a while. The kids are so much better at swimming than last time, a pleasure to see. The chlorine was pretty intense, and made me feel slightly ill, so even tho they want to go swimming again tomorrow, I think I'll pass. My brother Dale brought me back to Carolyn's and we got lost, going many miles out of our way before we figured out what to do. Oh well. Began creating a photo album, and gave away a bunch of photos to the kids which they liked.

Rob and Robert helped me move more furniture and stuff out of Norton Street yesterday. Am glad to have my mother's desk in Guilford now, and it's always a joy to hang out with those two.

Starting reading Eoin Colfer's The Wish List. Strange, very strange.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Academia Blah

Classes began yesterday, and I started to get another crick in my neck. I am SO done with this job. Thankfully, I have some wonderful colleagues who keep me going, and we complain and moan to one another so we don't feel so bad. And having Bindi in the office gets me outside a couple of times a day, and gets others to come into my office, even if it's not me they want to see!

I'm still sad about Steve Irwin's death, even though countless good people die every day. It's just that his program had a very real positive impact on me, and from the media reports, he was very much loved and admired. He was working on what is called "soft footage" or something like that for his daughter Bindi's kid's program they have been working on, when he was struck by the stingray. I have heard some criticism about him and how he exploited animals, but the vast majority of the reports from people who knew him emphasized his passionate conservation efforts, how he has managed to get into protection thousands of acres of Australian land as wildlife habitat, and how he was quite humble and treated everyone equally. So what that he was a showman whose enthusiasm sometimes went too far?! Would that we were all that passionate about saving endangered animals, people, and planets.

Getting ready for my trip to my sister's near Chicago for the second wedding reception for her son and his new bride. It will be a bit of a family reunion for me with both sisters and brother there, and families, which will be very nice. A quick trip, I'll be back on Monday night. BindiDog isn't coming with me since she is not welcome in Carolyn's house where I will be staying, because she will traumatize Carolyn's cat Daisy, but Bindi will go stay with Jen and Gaia again, and have much fun again I'm sure.

Watched the first show of the new season of one of my favorite TV programs last night: "House." It was kind of lame.

Went swimming at the Shoreline Y outdoor pool on the way home from work. It's cool enough to keep BindiDog in the car while I swim. I never want to go, but when it is so convenient, I have no excuse. The Y is building a new facility with two pools and I'm trying to lobby them to have one of them be outdoor, or at least have a roof that can roll back in the summer. They say it is very expensive to do that, and will depend on how much money is raised. There are no public outdoor pools around here! It's so frustrating. Who wants to swim inside in 80 degree weather in chlorine? Not me.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Worried and Sad

Dill did not come home last night, nor this morning. I decided to go out and look for him on the street behind my house, and found a family in their front yard playing. I stopped and introduced myself, and they were extremely nice, Laurie and Gary, and four beautiful children. They had seen a black and white cat about a week ago, and I gave them my name and number and they said they would call if they saw Dill. As I was driving around more, I began to cry, worried about my big boy, praying for his return. After calming myself, the phone rang, and it was Laurie saying she had seen Dill in their backyard and he was fine, but he ran away when she called him. I felt my guardian angels on duty again, and was able to accept the invitation my neighbord A. across the street had offered earlier about coming for tea, since I felt Dill would be on his way home.

A. told me that Steve Irwin had been killed. This was an enormous shock to me, since I had not heard the news, and because he has been a significant inspiration to me. I credit watching his show with helping me rid myself of my fear of snakes, and I named my dog after his darling daughter Bindi, who herself was named after Steve's favorite crocodile. Bindi Irwin, now 8, is a remarkable little girl, afraid of no animal, self confident, gentle, and will surely follow in her father's footsteps. What a tragedy that she will have to take those steps so soon. Around 10 pm, while watching television reports on Steve's death, I heard Dill's soprano meow at the door and with relief let him in. He seems none the worse for having been gone 24 hours, and love of animals seemed to be the theme of the day.

M. and M. were here for dinner and I was very glad to see them. Classes start tomorrow, and the grind.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Here Comes the Sun

What a beautiful day it turned out to be. The sun appeared after days of rain, and today was supposed to be dreary as well, but I think my chakra wand was doing it's job.

I made two pans of lasagna for the party, bought a big basket of peaches from Bishop's, and waited for my guests to arrive. It was a laid-back, cheery gathering, with lots of good eats, and fun for dogs and kids and adults. Three of us stayed past the ending time to play Scrabble. Did you known ern is a kind of eagle, and tipi is an alternate spelling for tepee? D. got a job at the Yale library which means another friend will be very close to my office, and several people told me what nice friends I have. I feel blessed to have them, to be sure

My knees are aching. Too tired to write more.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Windy Day

My friend in Texas said I should start a blog, and since I had an interesting day, this will be the day I start it.

I was up till three am; been having trouble getting to sleep. Bindi became restless around 11 am, and I forced myself out of bed to take her out for a walk. Otherwise I would have slept all day, even though I had planned to visit a craft fair today. She's a blessing in that way, forcing me to get my butt out of the sack when I don't really want to.

We drove to Madison and found a few tents on the green, the others scared off by the possible bad weather promised by the margins of a southern hurricane. We strolled around anyway since it was only barely sprinkling, and Bindi yearned after all the other dogs in the area, seeking the companionship of her own species. Who can blame her?

I was pleased to find my friend Trudi set up with her whimsical collection of handmade and painted "Critters," small stuffed animals with delightful graphics drawn in with precision and great artistry. We chatted about the garden and how we miss Olafs, and I bought a small mousie. Bindi had her eye on a black and tan long haired Corgi, so we walked over and met Jake Daniels and his human Kim. Jake's father was Jack, ha ha. These two canines seemed to be experiencing love at first sight, playing enthusiastically with no growling or barking, and it was clear we had to set up a play date. Kim lives nearby, we exchanged phone numbers, and best of all, Kim turned me on to the possibility of taking Bindi to a local nursing home to visit the residents there. This has been in my mind for a while, but I was sure a dog had to be "certified" in order to do these visits, but apparently not for this particular facility. She introduced me to the woman in charge of doggie visits, who also happened to be there, and hopefully something will be set up in the near future. Bindi would be perfect for this -- she is friendly, affectionate, and loves to sit on peoples' laps.

Another crafter there named Adam was selling very unusual handmade jewelry, made from epoxy clay, stones, and leather. He was a gentle soul, said he was apprenticing with a Brazilian man, and his work was quite unique. I was taken by a "chakra wand," a small piece of branch with two quartz crystals attached to either end, and a line of stones down the center which relate to the chakras of the body. It's a healing instrument, and he sold it to me for nine dollars, all I had, even though it was supposed to be ten. A deal in anyone's book.

At another booth, I was admiring someone's funky crocheted bags when I looked up and saw Maureen, a buddy from the union. We yelled and hugged, and the crafter turned out to be her daughter's friend. Maureen looked wonderful, healthy and vital. She had lost a lot of weight and retired from her union job, and seemed happier than I'd ever known her to be. I must go talk with her about how she lost the weight. She said it was through Weight Watchers, because her health was so bad, and she just had to.

More errands, then homeward bound to do some yard work, play with the pup, and then get in out of the damp. Friends coming over tomorrow afternoon for a potluck supper and hanging about.